The Sheldon Cooper Case Study

Still from The Big Bang Theory, “The Closure Alternative”(Season 6, Episode 21, 2013.)

It is no secret that Sheldon has a tendency to be a bit too over dramatic when it comes to various situations. He is a very calculated person and does not handle anything without the slightest bit of logic. As a child, Sheldon was known for his intelligence as well as his adoration for science. At age 11, Sheldon entered college and, by age 14, he graduated. Throughout his childhood, Sheldon exhibited little regard for other people’s feelings. He distanced himself from the other children, which caused him to display this very same behavior in adulthood. Characters from the show such as Leonard, his roommate, constantly make note of his compulsive behavior and tend to make him aware of his actions. Oftentimes, Sheldon’s compulsion can be masked by his egotistical behavior. For instance, Sheldon’s constant need to always sit in the same seat on any occasion is sometimes joked about due to his constant need to feel superior and his various indications of self-entitlement. More on his habits here:

Nevertheless, Sheldon’ sense of self-entitlement and need for perfection stems from his desire for self-validation. Throughout his childhood, Sheldon was an outlier. His father never respected his love for science and his mother showered him with affection, but never truly understood him. He felt alone, thus creating his cold-hearted nature towards people of whom he has grown fond of.

Still from The Big Bang Theory “The Spoiler Alert Segmentation” (Season 6, Episode 15, 2013.)

That being said, Sheldon is a very complex character. Though his various tendencies can be outlandish in nature, while watching The Big Bang Theory, viewers can very much so see that Sheldon internalizes his feelings and has a hard time conveying them due to his lack of social skills that have been apparent since his childhood. He is even seen as an outsider among his group of friends who see through Sheldon’s obvious facade and his blatant dependency issues. In spite of this, Sheldon has grown throughout the series. I say this because, despite his quirks, the series does not display his growth as a life changing event, but a slow and steady process that is being mended throughout the years. Sheldon is aware of his compulsive behavior, but realizes that he is who he is and decides to change on his own terms. With season 10 just beginning, I am very interested to see which direction the creators of the show decide to take in terms of Sheldon’s character.

-Shelby Halliman

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